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Pop Culture Happy Hour: Our Summer Movie Preview

Doctor Strange (Benedict Cumberbatch), Iron Man (Robert Downey Jr.), Hulk (Mark Ruffalo) and Wong (Benedict Wong) in Avengers: Infinity War.
Chuck Zlotnick
Marvel Studios

The first question that faced us before we could complete our Summer Movie Preview was a simple one. What isthe summer movie season?

Officially, summer this year stretches from June 21 to September 22, but that is not the summer movie season. In fact, most of the big stuff will be out by mid-July. Avengers: Infinity Warwas originally scheduled for May 4, but now it's coming out April 27. Deadpool 2arrives May 18. Eventually, the summer movie season may bump right into the Oscars. But for our purposes, it starts after Infinity War, though we made that one eligible for our box office predictions since it will run for many weeks.

With that in mind, we welcomed Aisha Harris, host of the Slate podcast Represent, to take a shot at the questions we've been asking ourselves for years. First, what movie are we most excited to see this summer, whether big or small? Second, what movie do we think will make the most money? And finally, what do we think will be the most spectacular flop? (We acknowledged this year that it's hard to put a precise measurement on what we mean by a flop; it's some combination of losing money and seeming gaudily disastrous and a few other mysterious factors.)

We all took our turn making predictions, most of which will turn out to be terrible, and we also had a chance to talk up the stuff we really are eager to sit down in an air-conditioned theater on a hot (probably?) day and check out.

We also talked about what's making us happy this week. Stephen is happy about a cover that was not done by Taylor Swift. Glen is happy about a new show on BBC America. Aisha is happy about a performance that will be remembered for a very long time. And I am happy about a wonderful book you should absolutely read.

And we also took a moment to remember Carl Kasell, who will be sorely missed at NPR. The remembrance from his Wait Waitcolleague Peter Sagal is well worth your time.

Copyright 2021 NPR. To see more, visit https://www.npr.org.

Linda Holmes is a pop culture correspondent for NPR and the host of Pop Culture Happy Hour. She began her professional life as an attorney. In time, however, her affection for writing, popular culture, and the online universe eclipsed her legal ambitions. She shoved her law degree in the back of the closet, gave its living room space to DVD sets of The Wire, and never looked back.